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How to Read Numbers

On sale

31st March 2022

Price: £9.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781474619974

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Every day, most of us will read or watch something in the news that is based on statistics in some way. Sometimes it’ll be obvious – ‘X people develop cancer every year’ – and sometimes less obvious – ‘How smartphones destroyed a generation’. Statistics are an immensely powerful tool for understanding the world, but in the wrong hands they can be dangerous.

Introducing you to the common mistakes that journalists make and the tricks they sometimes deploy, HOW TO READ NUMBERS is a vital guide that will help you understand when and how to trust the numbers in the news – and, just as importantly, when not to.

Reviews

INDEPENDENT
An erudite, enlightening guide to the numbers we read in the news - and why they are so often wrong. The authors make sense of dense material and offer engrossing insights into sampling bias, statistical significance and the dangers of believing the casual language used in newspapers
EVAN DAVIS
Wonderfully written - incredibly readable. It should be made compulsory reading for everyone before they leave school
HELEN LEWIS, author of Difficult Women
Reading this book is strongly correlated with not looking stupid. Highly recommended
MISHAL HUSAIN
A great combination of important and accessible
Manjit Kumar, THE TIMES
An excellent guide to everyday statistics . . . the authors do a splendid job of stringing words together so smartly that even difficult concepts are explained and so understood with ease. [A] timely and lively book
SATHNAM SANGHERA, author of EMPIRELAND
A vital plea to take statistics more seriously - the prose being as clear and elegant as the numbers
Stephen Bush, THE BIG ISSUE
Brilliant . . . part of the joy of How to Read Numbers is how light and fun it is. At the end of the process, you'll be better equipped to understand what it means when a glass of red wine can both increase and decrease your chances of getting cancer, how many portions of fruit and veg you need to eat each day, and any number of stories about numbers you might read or hear
Nick Rennison, DAILY MAIL
[A] fascinating, easy-to-read explanation of how to interpret numbers in the news . . . their enlightening book provides us with the tools to spot when we're being led astray
TIM HARFORD, author of HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD ADD UP
A charming, practical and insightful guide. You might not even notice how much you're learning - you'll be too busy having fun
IAN DUNT, author of HOW TO BE A LIBERAL
An absolute lifesaver . . . Breezy, easy to read, funny and loaded with useful information